Israeli envoy warns against wearing yarmulkes in Copenhagen


(JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to Denmark reportedly warned Jews to avoid being identified as such in Copenhagen.

“We advise Israelis who come to Denmark and want to go to the synagogue to wait to don their skull caps until they enter the building and not to wear them in the street, irrespective of whether the areas they are visiting are seen as being safe,” Amb. Arthur Avnon is quoted as telling AFP on Wednesday. The news agency reported that Avnon also advised visitors not to "speak Hebrew loudly" or demonstrably wear Star of David jewelry.

Leaders of Denmark’s Jewish community of approximately 8,000 were not immediately available for comment on the warnings attributed to Avnon.

Last month anti-Israel protesters vandalized the Israeli embassy in Denmark.

Demonstrators who gathered outside the embassy near Copenhagen last month threw fireworks and sprayed the embassy walls with graffiti. Two days before, protesters spray-painted the words “child killers” on the white walls that surround the Israeli diplomatic mission in the embassy complex, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, an international watchdog group.

“Sadly, this has been our recommendation for a long time now and we back the ambassador in what he said,” Michael Gelvan, chairman of the Nordic Jewish Security Council, told JTA. “We have confronted police about this, but the answer we got is that there are areas of Copenhagen where they cannot walk around in uniform — which is no answer at all, but rather an indication of how chaotic the situation has become.”

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